Early season NFL Daily Fantasy bargains and busts - QB, RB, WR

Aug 22, 2017 |
Early season NFL Daily Fantasy bargains and busts - QB, RB, WR
After reportedly coming into camp in great shape and committing to improve, DeVante Parker saw the lion's share of targets in Jay Cutler's first taste of game action.
Photo By - USA Today Images
After reportedly coming into camp in great shape and committing to improve, DeVante Parker saw the lion's share of targets in Jay Cutler's first taste of game action.
Photo By - USA Today Images

Here are the best bargain options and players with the biggest daily fantasy bust potential for the early weeks of the NFL season:

Quarterback

Bargain - Jay Cutler, Miami Dolphins

Cutler was supposed to be finished as a quarterback option, both in fantasy and in real life. But a season-ending injury to Ryan Tannehill opened the door for Cutler to end his brief retirement and throw on the teal jersey for one more kick at the can. You know exactly what you're getting from Cutler - for better or worse - but with a decent receiving corps and a solid running game, the 34-year-old is actually in position to have some very nice weeks. Take advantage while his salary is at its nadir.

Bust - Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

This isn't to suggest that Ryan won't be a viable daily fantasy option at times this season - but anyone expecting him to duplicate his 2016 effort is not going to fare well in DFS. Ryan put up career numbers last year, thanks largely to a 7.1 touchdown rate that far exceeded his career mark of 5.2. Even if you believe that he could wind up somewhere in the middle of those two numbers, he becomes a major stretch to return value as he heads into Week 1 with the highest salary of any QB playing on Sunday.




Running Back

Bargain - Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys

We use the term "bargain" with some trepidation here - not because McFadden doesn't fit the description, but because there's a very good chance McFadden won't remain low-priced for long. With Ezekiel Elliott suspended six games to start the season, the Cowboys are quite content to roll with McFadden as their feature back. There's a chance that Elliott will see his suspension reduced, but not by enough games to spoil McFadden's early-season breakout. Use him everywhere in Week 1, before his price skyrockets.

Bust - LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills

McCoy's satisfaction level likely dropped significantly on one fateful day earlier this month, when the Bills sent Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby packing to essentially wave the white flag on the season. Add in the sudden retirement of Anquan Boldin, and Buffalo's pass offense has taken a hit - and that can only hurt McCoy's chances of being an elite running back. Wait and see how big a part of the offense he is early on; you're taking a major risk by rolling with him in the mid-$8,000s in Week 1.

Wide Receiver

Bargain - DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins

Sure, Parker has seen more preseason hype than any other receiver in football - but there's good reason for that. After reportedly coming into camp in great shape and committing to improve, Parker saw the lion's share of targets in Cutler's first taste of game action. Parker is the kind of deep threat Cutler loves, and Cutler is the kind of cannon-armed quarterback Parker needs. It's a match made in heaven - potentially - and one you should take advantage of while Parker's salary is still reasonable.

Bust - Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants

Beckham is probably going to have a sensational season, but he is by no means a sure thing from one week to the next - and that's what makes him so frustrating to roster. Not only is he dealing with an ankle injury in the preseason, he'll likely see a measurable drop in targets with the arrival of Brandon Marshall. Priced in the high-$8,000s to open the regular season, Beckham is the ultimate high-salary boom-or-bust option. Go with a more stable play in all formats, at least in the early going.


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